The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to extend its previous order on opening 18 mining leases in Karnataka to also allow extraction of iron ore in all category 'A' and category 'B' mines.

"The CEC is of the view that by and large substantial progress has been made on reclamation and rehabilitation works in 'A' and 'B' category of mines… perhaps the time has come to extend the order on all mines in both categories," senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing as amicus curiae, told a Forest Bench led by Justice Aftab Alam.